Thursday, February 14, 2008

Smoking Theater

I was suprised that Mitch missed this one:
Barnacle's Resort in Lake Mille Lacs turned its normal Saturday night business into a play, testing a loophole in Minnesota's smoking ban. The production included programs and buttons that said "Act Now!"

"You are looking at a stage. You are looking at a playhouse," said Mark Benjamin, a nonsmoking lawyer who worked the bar dressed in Shakespearian garb. "Those are not cigarettes—those are props."

The law allows actors and actresses to light up in theatrical performances—but it doesn't define what that means. The idea of stretching the definition came to Benjamin at the Renaissance Festival, an annual event where people dress up in costumes.
I had been aware of this loophole when I was talking to someone at Rock following a Ron White. I had asked what the show was like now that there is smoking ban in place. Guy said Ron was up there spanking heaters like there was no tomorrow. So I looked up the statues and sure enough, the theater exception.

It reminds me of when the St. Paul City Council, in a feeble attempt to out law strip clubs, forced them to be in a separate room. So what did the clubs do, the used a plexiglass wall instead of a regular sheet rock one. 3

Now lets see how long they can get away with it.


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